Supernova Condensate is a blog about our place in the Universe. Of astronomy, chemistry and life in the big bad bubble of academia.
Invader Xan is a molecular astrophysicist and part-time alien invader, who spends life looking at very small things on very large scales, and trying to better understand the chemistry of interstellar space.
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Tag Archives: spectroscopy
Space battles really are one of the coolest things in sci fi aren’t they? They’re the fast paced sections full of flashy lasers, awesome sound effects, explosions, cool space ships… They also make the scale of things seem that much … Continue reading
Now, when most people think about space, they imagine it to be a total vacuum. Completely empty of anything whatsoever. The thing is, that’s not quite true. Those spaces between the stars aren’t quite as empty as you might think. … Continue reading
It seems like we’re not going to stop discovering new exoplanets anytime soon. Around one sixth of all exoplanets currently known can be observed transiting their star’s disk. Given that transits are precisely what NASA’s Kepler mission is going to … Continue reading
Ah, the humble proton. Simple, stable, and able to drastically affect the chemistry of other molecules — and nowhere more so than in the Interstellar Medium (ISM). H2 molecules, for instance are readily protonated in dense interstellar clouds, forming H3+, … Continue reading
Here at this illustrious University, researchers have access to some pretty hefty supercomputing capabilities. It was actually the second most powerful academic supercomputer in Europe when it was initially set up. As a matter of fact, there are three disciplines … Continue reading
R Coronae Borealis is a rare breed of star. Rare enough that it gives it’s name to it’s own class of variable stars. Around 30 R Coronae Borealis variables are known in the sky, classified because of a bizarre shared … Continue reading
Anyone reading this really ought to be warned in advance — this entry is more for me than anyone else, so if quantum mechanics, spectroscopy and/or fortran programming aren’t your thing, you may want to just ignore the rest… Or … Continue reading
Perhaps this could be the sound of opportunity knocking… AKARI, formerly known as ASTRO-F is a JAXA space telescope from the same stables as the truly wonderful KAGUYA and HINODE space probes. It was sent into orbit with a supply … Continue reading
Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the Aldrich Library of FT-IR Spectra. They’re big and heavy, and they cost over £500 each. Yes, each. There are three of these mighty tomes, between them containing over 5000 pages worth … Continue reading